Endeavour Splashdown This Afternoon Off Pensacola

| August 2, 2020 @ 11:41 am

Current Gulf Coast visible satellite and radar overlay

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are returning home aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft with landing sites on the Gulf of Mexico chosen instead.

Splashdown is scheduled for 2:41 pm EDT today at the primary landing site off Pensacola. An alternate site off Panama City is also available.

Everything will be broadcast on NASA TV.

NASA and SpaceX chose from among 7 possible sites off the coasts of Pensacola, Tampa, Tallahassee, Panama City, Cape Canaveral, Daytona, and Jacksonville based on expected weather conditions.

Weather criteria used in selecting the primary and secondary sites:
• Wind Speed: No greater than 15 ft/sec
• Wave Period & Significant Wave Height: Driven by wave height and wave period relationship; in general, when wave height and wave period are the same, the condition is no-go. No greater than 7 degrees wave slope.
• Rain: < 25% probability of 25 dBz in protected boundary • Lightning: No less than 10 miles and no greater than 25% probability of lightning in protected boundary • Helicopter Start & Hover Test: Pass-Fail test to confirm operational capability •Helicopter Operational Limits: Vessel limits will apply on motion (pitch, roll), cloud visibility, cloud ceiling and lightning - Vessel Pitch, Roll: No greater than 4 degrees - Ceiling: No less than 500 feet - Visibility: No less than 1?2 mile for day and 1 mile for night Should conditions worsen at the site, a wave-off might be called and the crew would remain in orbit aboard the capsule for another attempt 24-48 hours later. More information: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/top-10-things-to-know-for-nasa-s-spacex-demo-2-return

Nasa Demo-2 splashdown fact sheet with more detail on criteria.: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/ccp_splashdown.pdf


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Tony Rice is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and the voice and brains behinds the weekly Astronomy Report on the WeatherBrains podcast. He grew up in Southern California where he watched the Space Shuttles being build and landed nearby and was hooked. Tony brings weather and space together to communicate the excitement of space exploration and promote a greater appreciation for Earth sciences.

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